If you are treating yourself to a whole lobster, up to specimen will give maximum flavour and quality of texture. Don’t be fooled by the ‘bigger is better’ case. A lobster weighing much more will also be much older, will have fought many briny battles and be tough as old boots.


  • 2 lively good sized lobsters (750g-800g each)

  • Or 4 of around 500g each

  • 250g salted butter

  • 1 vanilla pod, split lengthways

  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • 200 ml dry white wine


  • 1.

    Bring a pan of water large enough to contain the lobsters to a vigorous boil, and add a good pinch of sea salt and pepper – I always avoid any other flavouring in the water; lobster meat needs no tweaking.

  • 2.

    Take the rubber bands off the lobsters’ claws (be very careful, they can do a lot of damage to fingers) and put the lobsters in the water.

  • 3.

    Cover the pan and cook for 15-20 minutes until the flesh turns white and starts to come away from the shell. It is better to undercook than overcook otherwise it will dry out.

  • 4.

    Remove the lobsters from the pan with a slotted spoon and straighten them out on a wooden board to allow them to cool.

  • 5.

    In a small pan, melt the butter mixed with the seeds scraped from the vanilla pod and the split pod itself in order to extract ever more flavour.

  • 6.

    With a very strong, very sharp knife, cut the lobsters in half lengthways from head to tail, and serve with the vanilla butter and many, many napkins.

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